Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk has welcomed Government support for the Woodland Trust to help identify and protect ancient trees and woodland from development.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has awarded a grant of £210,000 to the Woodland Trust to kickstart a £1.5 million collaboration with Natural England.
The funding will help the Trust to build a map-based record of ancient woodlands and trees.
Mr Chalk is a leading member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ancient Woodlands and Veteran Trees.
“Our ancient trees and woods are an irreplaceable link to our country’s heritage.
“We have a record of around 52,000 ancient woodlands and 160,000 individual trees, including nearby sites at Lineover Wood and Arle Grove. But there are many more which are still missing. Without proper identification we will not be able to protect them.
“So I welcome this Government cash to build a definitive database.
“544 ancient woods are under potential threat from development in England. Those are just the ones that we know of. We have to prevent those and others slipping through the net and being destroyed by inappropriate development.”
Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP said:
“Groups like the Woodland Trust are playing a crucial role in protecting our green spaces. Including our irreplaceable ancient forests, for future generations to enjoy long after we are gone. This will form the first modern stock take of all woodland in England.”